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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Southwestern Pasta Gratin

Another recipe from "One-Dish Vegetarian Meals" by Robin Robertson. This one features cheese, so it's not vegan.

Southwestern Pasta Gratin

8 oz elbow macaroni
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1 1/2 cups cooked or canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained if canned
1 Tbsp chili powder, or more to your taste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cups picante sauce, store-bought or homemade
One 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar or so cheddar cheese

Cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water, stirring occasionally, until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over low heat, add the garlic and jalapeno, and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add the beans, chili powder, and oregano. Stir in the picante sauce and tomatoes and mix well. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the macaroni with the bean and tomato mixture and transfer to the prepared dish. Top with the cheese. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and continue baking 5 to 10 minutes longer or until the top is lightly browned.

My Notes: I don't like cooking with jalapenos, so instead I added some hot sauce. This was easy to make, but didn't taste all that great -- seemed like something that would be served in a hospital or a school -- but I was so excited to eat some cheese that I didn't care. Nigel calls it Chili-Mac. The kids refused to eat it, so I made some extra noodles and just added some butter and cheese.

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